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State's beaches ready to welcome crowds as restrictions end 'just in time'

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Queensland’s beaches are ready to welcome the school-holiday crowds as border restrictions ease from noon.

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Extra lifeguards are rostered on with the crowds expected to flock to the surf this weekend.

Gold Coast chief lifeguard Warren Young says the move to relax the border restrictions has come just in time.

“The weather is beautiful and we are ready to welcome the tourists back to the beaches,” he said.

Queensland’s beaches have been packed with locals but for the first time since March, interstate tourists will be allowed to enjoy the Sunshine State’s winter weather.

The border reopens at noon on Friday with most of the country welcome to visit the state that is beautiful one day, perfect the next – except for Victorians.

Parts of the COVID-plagued state remain in lockdown and Queensland has been very clear that it does not want to reimport the virus.

Queenslanders who have visited Victoria have until noon to come home before being blocked from entering, or having to fund their own 14-day quarantine in a government-assigned hotel.

More than 1000 Queenslanders arrived from Melbourne on Thursday, with almost 500 touching down at Brisbane airport on Friday morning.

All other Australians will be allowed to enter Queensland from midday.

The high police presence at the border will continue to ensure visitors have not travelled to Victoria.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned that until there is a COVID-19 vaccine, risks will remain high.

“We cannot risk removing our border restrictions for those people coming from areas in Victoria right now. To do so would jeopardise everything we have all sacrificed so much to achieve and could be catastrophic to our entire economy,” she says.

From Friday, private gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed in homes, weddings can host up to 100, and contact sport is back on the agenda. Casinos and food courts will also reopen.

-AAP

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